Wednesday, August 1, 2012

ABC News is Totally Objective -- Haha, just kidding, they're horrible.

From ABC's NewsOTUS blog/website/thingy:

Texas Toast: What A Tea Party Candidate's Win Means For Washington

Well, obviously it means nothing for Washington since what he's won is the Texas GOP primary and not the general election, which he would have to also win in order to go to Washington, but please, do go on.

August 1, 2012

He's already being called the next Marco Rubio. 
They said, as if that were a compliment.

Conservative Republican Ted Cruz, who scored an upset — but rock-solid — victory over Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in yesterday's Texas U.S. Senate runoff is being hailed today as the second coming of the current Florida senator and vice presidential short-lister.

"Just like the upstart Rubio, who started with long odds but defeated long time incumbent Florida Governor Charlie Christ in the 2010 GOP Primary with major support from the Tea Party, Cruz did exactly the same thing in Texas," the Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody wrote in an analysis of last night's results. 

And who has more credibility than a reporter from a network founded by Pat Robertson? To whom else could you possibly turn for legitimate political analysis?

Okay, maybe.

 By Election Day, Cruz, a former Texas solicitor general, had already overtaken Dewhurst in recent polls. Cruz had the backing of Tea Party stalwarts like Sarah Palin and Sen. Jim DeMint whereas Dewhurst won the support of establishment figures like Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the erstwhile presidential hopeful. 

Um, are we pretending that Rick Perry is not a teabagger? Did he not speak in front of those teabagging rallies? Wasn't it at one of those rallies that he talked about possible secession? 


“Texas is a unique place. When we came into the union in 1845, one of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that.”
- Texas Governor Rick Perry hinting at secession at a Tea Party rally today

Thank you,!

And how is Jim DeMint not an "establishment" figure? He's been in either the House or the Senate since 1999! How long do you have to be there before you're "established?"

I'm a loner, Dottie. A rebel! *

Is maybe the point that htere really is no longer any distinction between the Republican "establishment" and the Birthers, Birchers, Tenthers and Thruthers who gather under the umbrella of the "Tea Party?" Oris it too much to expect for ABC to connect those dots? I guess it would interfere with their whole "Tea Party - outsider - rebel - grassroots" narrative.

 So, what does one Republican's victory over a fellow GOPer in the bright red state of Texas mean in the grand scheme of things?

As Brody noted: "Eventually the media and others will realize that the Tea Party is not only far from dead it's just warming up."

Oh, I'm sorry. I thought this was a "report" from a "news" organization, not  promotional material from FreedomWorks.
Also, I'm not sure that Texas is really all that bright red anymore. It's projected to be a swing state by 2016. But why would you bother checking into that? I mean it took me literally almost an entire minute to type "Texas Swing State" into the Google and come up with these:

Obama predicts Texas will soon be a swing state    Posted on July 18, 2012 at 9:47am › Opinion › Robert Schlesinger

So, how could I expect ABC to put that much effort into its stenography reportage?

But regardless of who wins control of the Senate this November, we know that the upper body in Washington is going to be as polarized and uncompromising as ever, notes ABC News Political Director Amy Walter. Conservative Republicans like Cruz and Richard Murdouck in Indiana won because they insisted they wouldn't be part of a "go along, get along" culture. 

Yeah, let's pretend that it's all of the Senate that is uncompromising. Let's pretend that one side hasn't bent over backwards to be accomodating while the other side has just filibustered everything time after time after time.

To put it another way, as one smart Republican strategist told the Note: "The fact the Tea Party can win is the 2010 story; whether they can govern and what the 'establishment' will do to retool is the question." SARAH PALIN SEND 'CONGRATS'. ABC's Shushannah Walshe points us toward Sarah Palin's Facebook page, which includes this note: "Congratulations to Ted Cruz! This is a victory both for Ted and for the grassroots Tea Party movement. This primary race has always been about the kind of leadership we need in D.C. Our goal is not just about changing the majority in the Senate. It is about the kind of leadership we want. Ted Cruz represents the kind of strong conservative leadership we want in D.C." 

Yeah, I know there should be a paragraph break in there or something, but that is an exact cut & paste from the ABC site. But that's not the point. The point is, that in an analysis of a story about electoral politics, ABC cites a reporter from the Pat Robertson Network, a "smart Republican strategist" and Sarah fucking Palin. Now that's objectivity!


Way to have your priorities straight, Senator Dipshit!

It's not like there are any really pressing issues that the Senate might concern itself with at the present time, like the economy or something. So what better time for Senator Butthead to introduce this frivolous super-important bill?

Rubio bill would make Olympic prize money tax-exempt
By Chris Moody, Yahoo! News | The Ticket – 3 hrs ago

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio introduced a bill Wednesday that would exempt Americans competing in the Olympic Games from paying taxes on the financial spoils of their victory.

Athletes are awarded a $25,000 honorarium for first place, $15,000 for second and $10,000 for third, but under Rubio's bill, the money would not be subject to taxes currently imposed by the Internal Revenue Service.

I don't know what the logic is here. I don't know what the logic is in deciding to pursue this ridiculous bill that affects a couple dozen Americans, rather than say, passing the JOBS Act or something,  or what reasoning is behind the idea that Olympic prize money should be tax-exempt. Let's let Senator ShitForBrains explain:

"Athletes representing our nation overseas in the Olympics shouldn't have to worry about an extra tax bill waiting for them back home," Rubio said in a statement. "We can all agree that these Olympians who dedicate their lives to athletic excellence should not be punished when they achieve it."

No. No, we can not all agree. Paying taxes on your earnings is not punishment. It's the price of living in a functioning society. Why would athletes be exempt from that? And I can't imagine that any of the athletes are at all concerned with the extra tax bill waiting at home. How burdensome could the tax bill be when you've just been handed $25 grand or more for doing something that you were going to do anyway because this sport is your passion in life? If I get a bonus for being good at my job, I have to pay income tax on it. So do you, I assume. And I don't even like what I do.  And any bonus I might get is not going to be anywhere near $25 thousand.

We aren't going to pretend that Olympic athletes are sacrificing for the glory of the nation or something, are we? Do you reallynot think that these young men and women are participating in these sports because they love these sports? No 10-year-old little gymnast is getting up at 3 every morning to get screamed at by Marta Karoli while damaging every sinew in her body because she wants the United States to triumph over China in sports, or whatever. They do it because they love what they do and they love being the best and they love winning. And there's nothing at all wrong with that, but are we going to make everyone who follows their passion tax-exempt?

It would have been worth all the pain and the hard work if only I didn't have to pay income tax!

 Americans for Tax Reform, a group founded by conservative activist Grover Norquist, estimated that Olympic medalists face a tax burden of as much as $8,986 when they return from the competition.

Now, this may come as a shock to you, but Americans for Tax Reform is being pretty fucking dishonest about this! I know, right? I know I'm stunned.

Here's what they have to say about Olympic taxes: 

American medalists face a top income tax rate of 35 percent. Under U.S. tax law, they must add the value of their Olympic medals and prizes to their taxable income. It is therefore easy to calculate the tax bite on Olympic glory.
American gold medal winners will pay the IRS up to $8,986. Silver medal winners will pay up to $5,385. Bronze medal winners will pay up to $3,502.

Read more:

There's even a handy little chart that I can't seem to copy here, but suffice it to say that ATR is basing their calculations on the idea that Olympic medal winners would pay 35% on their prize money. Which seems pretty unlikely, given that most of them don't have day jobs, and the 35% tax bracket only applies to income over $388,550. So, sure the basketball team will have to pay the full 35% minus whatever loopholes their army of accountants can come up with, so will Micheal Phelps, but your average Olympian amateur athlete, not really.

Single Filing Status
[Tax Rate Schedule X, Internal Revenue Code section 1(c)]

    10% on taxable income from $0 to $8,700, plus
    15% on taxable income over $8,700 to $35,350, plus
    25% on taxable income over $35,350 to $85,650, plus
    28% on taxable income over $85,650 to $178,650, plus
    33% on taxable income over $178,650 to $388,350, plus
    35% on taxable income over $388,350.

Now, Olympians are also apparently charged tax on the value of their medals, and that is bullshit, because they aren't really getting any income from that. They aren't going to melt down their gold medals and sell them to Glenn Beck or whoever. But the medal tax is really not a whole lot, even according to the ATR, which lists the tax on a gold medal as $236, which is still assuming a 35% tax rate.

Aaaaanyway. . .

Even Rubio can't think that this stupid piece of legislation has any chance of becoming law, so why is he wasting his time on it? Is he just trying to prove his anti-tax boner fides (see what I did there?) to Grover Norquist? Is it just that he hopes Democrats will vote against it so he can claim that they hate America's athletes? Is he just a moron? I'm going to go with all of the above.